WATCH: Man suspected of teacher’s ‘brutal’ murder blows kisses in court
A man arrested accused of taking part in the 2009 murder of a Red Bank middle school teacher mouthed kisses to his sister as he was arraigned in Freehold Friday, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni charged Jerry J. Spraulding, 38, of Keansburg with first-degree felony murder, second-degree armed burglary and several other charges related to Jonelle Melton's death.
While being arraigned in a Freehold courtroom, Spraulding blew kisses to his sister, according to the report. The Asbury Park Press captured the moment on video, seen above.
Asbury Park men James Fair, 27, Ebenezer Byrd, 35, and Gregory Jean-Baptiste, 26 were charged earlier with the Red Bank school teacher's death.
Gramiccioni has said all four broke into the wrong apartment at the Brighton Arms complex in Neptune City on Sept. 14, 2009.
After realizing their mistake, Gramiccioni has said, the men "brutally murdered Melton."
According to the prosecutor’s office, the investigation has continued for six years, and was one of the first cases to utilize the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line and reward program.
First Assistant Prosecutor Marc LeMieux told the court on Friday he has "significant" evidence that connects Spraulding to Melton's murder according to the Press report.
If convicted of felony murder, Spraulding faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in a New Jersey state prison, during which time he would be ineligible for parole, and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act, requiring him to serve 85 percent of any sentence imposed in excess of 30 years prior to becoming eligible for parole, the prosecutor’s office said.
Authorities are asking anyone with information related to the investigation to contact Detective Scott Samis of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 or Detective Lieutenant Matt Quagliato of the Neptune City Police Department at 732-775-1615.